Jay's Report - January 05, 2004

Beautiful But Brrrrrrrrr

The weekend brought bright blue sky but cold temperatures. There was 8 to 10cm of fresh Saturday morning but only the brave stayed out for too long. Signs warned of frostbite risk at each loading station. Cedar Bowl was quite nice as it was protected from the wind somewhat. Lone Fir and Easter Bowl were reportedly outstanding. The snow was firmer than what grown accustomed to this year, no doubt on account of the frigid temperatures. Carving was good fun, but work. The snow base is above 200cm now; more than any other Canadian resort with the exception of Powder King. Powder King is located north east of Edmonton. I've never been but the further north you go, the colder it gets, and I have no desire to go endure any more frostbite than is absolutely necessary to attain my desired quota of powder days.

Sunday was stunningly colder. Minus 33c at the house with a wind chill that singed open skin. I struck out nonetheless with my down parka and skis. The level of anti-freeze in my system remaining from the previous night's activities of a neighborhood party either warmed my body or weakened my judgment. Surprisingly, besides the lifties, I encountered at least five others in an Arctic mood (I wondered if perhaps they too were at the neighborhood party). Timber Chair didn't open. It was reportedly frozen. Not hard to understand. I went up Dear Chair and skated to Bear Chair thinking I would take risk one run before hypothermia set in. I was shocked to see Face Lift open for the first time this year. It warmed my soul enough to do it 3 times. Thigh to waist deep powder isn't hard to take, even at minus 33c. But those face shots. Whoa! I haven't had frostbite like that since my brother held me face first in the snow for an hour in second grade. There's a price to powder.

Now a word about a report I did a couple of weeks ago where I commented on the European content in the line up. You might recall that I said that the dead give away was a European running over my skis while trying to secure a position ahead of my daughter and I in the line up. Thank you to my European friends for the dozens of emails on the subject. Without exception, you all agreed that Europeans have atrocious ski hill etiquette which is better suited to hockey rinks than ski hills. About half of you asked that I don't judge all Europeans by the one I encountered. I won't, but based on experience and talking with others there does seem to be a statistical correlation in aggressive ski line types and country of domicile. Still, we really enjoy most of you. About half of you said that one of the things you enjoy most about Fernie is the friendliness of the people and getting away of European ski hill traffic. About a third of you suggested that the chap that ran over my skis couldn't have been English. He wasn't. Thanks again for your emails. No intention to offend. Like the ski report, I just calls it like it sees it.

Jay - jay@far.redtree.com

Skydive - Polar Peak in Background

Lift Line at Face Lift on Sunday

Powder run around Cascade off Face Lift